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  1. #1
    Arena: The Home of the Gods of War

    Arena: The Home of the Gods of War

    Phobos




    Continued from: http://quarrelsandquills.net/showthr...l=1#post236258

    "Your daughter betrayed me," Phobos said, looking down from his twisted metal throne at the two Firsts kneeling anxiously before him.

    "Forgive us, my lord!" Caius Portmore begged, staring down at the floor. "We had no idea that Gossamer was so treacherous. I assure you, she is no daughter to us - not after what she has done."

    His wife nodded fervent agreement.

    "Were you aware she was pregnant?" Phobos demanded. "That she has been sleeping with another man?"

    Caius' face was so red it had turned almost purple. "My lord, no! We are shocked to hear that. Devastated. Had we known that our daughter was such a whore... that she was a traitor... we would have come to you immediately and punished her in any way you demanded."

    "Including taking her life?" Phobos asked sternly.

    "Of course, my lord!" Gardenia Portmore assured him. "We are proud that our son died in the service of our great gods. If you were to ask for our daughter's life too, it is yours, without hesitation."

    "Is that your will, my lord?" Caius asked.

    Phobos was pleased by their quick and correct response. "No," he said. "Gossamer will not escape her duty, not even through death. You will help me get her back."

    "Of course," Gardenia said. "Of course, my lord. As you wish it."

    "Who does Gossamer belong to? Who owns her? Body and soul?" Phobos said, requesting the answer he already knew. The only acceptable answer.

    "She belongs to you, my lord," Caius replied with painful sincerity. "Body and soul. You have full claim on her. We will do whatever it takes to bring her back to you. She belongs at your side."

    Phobos smiled. "I'm glad to hear that. Well done. Unlike your daughter, the two of you are excellent servants. I am pleased."

    Caius and Gardenia bowed and simpered and beamed, thrilled to have gained the favor of one of their gods - far more important to them than the life or happiness of their surviving child.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #2
    Eris and Phobos



    There had been no progress on locating their missing guard. One guard out of their many was not a significant loss, and if he had died in battle, none of the Family of War would have given him a second thought... but leaving them by choice was a different thing altogether. As unimportant as this guard was individually, defiance was not permitted. It might inspire others to defiance if he was not made an example of, and quite frankly, it annoyed the entire Family of War to be disrespected in such a way.

    Eris entered the room where the missing guard - Nicolai McBride - had slept. Only those who rose to the rank of officer had rooms to themselves, and McBride had not achieved that, so he shared the barracks room with nineteen other men. The room had of course been searched for clues to the guard's disappearance, but there was nothing. All he had to his name was a small footlocker at the end of a nondescript bunk, and that locker contained nothing of a personal nature, just spare uniforms and his hygiene supplies. Nothing that hinted at where he had gone, or why.

    The clues Eris sought were of a different type, though. She was here to recover not evidence, but memories. The Goddess of Discord raised one of the uniform shirts to just in front of her face, then closed her eyes. After a moment, she opened her eyes again and looked thoughtful. Eris placed the shirt back in the footlocker, then went to find her nephew.

    "McBride is with your missing goddess, as it turns out," Eris told Phobos. "Find your bride, and you'll find our deserter."

    "What?" Phobos asked. His rage at the very idea was so intense that he was pale with it. "What are you talking about? How do you know?"

    "Her aura is all over his things," Eris replied calmly. "He reeks of her."

    "Then... then the bastard child she's carrying is...?"

    "His, I would imagine," Eris told him with a shrug. "I wonder what she sees in him. She could have a god - not just any god, but one of the ancients - and she chose something not even human instead?"

    "I don't care what she sees in him!" Phobos yelled. "He will pay for this! And so will she!"

    "You just have to find them first," Eris reminded her nephew.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 07-18-2016 at 11:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Phobos



    The three men from the planet Regulus looked confused and uncomfortable. Phobos smiled unkindly at them. This was exactly how he liked it.

    "So you are claiming that you had no idea that your younger brother Nicolai was committing treason by sleeping with a woman who was off limits to him, and impregnating her?"

    "No... no my lord!" the oldest, Alex, stammered. "I assure you we had no idea!"

    The youngest of the three, Dennis, gave a nervous laugh. Phobos fixed him with glare. "This amuses you?" the God of Horror asked.

    "Not at all, my lord!" Dennis assured him. "It's just... Nicolai. Never would have seen that coming. Nicolai doesn't have a sex life. He's never even had a girlfriend."

    "Apparently he does now," Phobos said dryly. "And now I'm curious how the three of you plan to help me. I am not entirely convinced of your family's loyalty. Your late parents gave us Nicolai for our service, but that was hardly much of a sacrifice. The unwanted fourth son of parents who wanted a daughter. You'll need to work a little harder to demonstrate your loyalties, or I may suspect that the three of you are in on this with him."

    "My lord, I assure you, we're not!" Alex said hastily. "We haven't seen Nicolai since he came to Arena. He didn't come back to Regulus. You're welcome to search all of our homes to verify that. I don't know where else he would go..."

    "Not helpful," Phobos said with a shake of his head. "In that case, I'll just have to use stronger interrogation methods..."

    "Alex has a daughter!" Yuri, the middle brother, interjected, speaking for the first time. "His only child. The grandchild my parents always wanted. You could take her as a servant. As a... hostage. Until Nicolai comes back. If he knew, I think it would motivate him to come back. He hasn't seen her in years, but I think he'd still care."

    Phobos stared hard at Alex. "You'd agree to this?"

    Alex momentarily looked taken aback, but his expression soon faded to neutral. "Of course," he said. "If that is what you demand, it shall be done."

    "It is," Phobos said. "Bring her to me."

  4. #4
    Alex, Yuri, and Dennis McBride
    The Planet Regulus


    "This is a crazy idea," Alex said quietly, taking a sip of his beer as he glanced around the busy tavern to see if any of the other patrons were paying attention to the three men. No one was.

    "Of course it is," Dennis replied. "But the alternative is giving him your daughter. You want to do that instead?"

    "It would be safer if we did," Yuri grumbled. "If Phobos finds out about this, we're all toast."

    Alex looked like he was almost ready to agree with Yuri, but at the last moment, his courage returned. "Let's do it," he said. "It's a good plan. Phobos never needs to find out."

    Dennis continued drinking his ale for a moment as he scanned the crowded room. Finally, he gestured toward a blonde serving girl who was currently setting a round of mugs on another table. "Her," he told the others tersely.

    The brothers waited until the servant went into the back room to refill her pitcher, then they casually moved in the same direction as if toward the lavatories. Once they were out of sight of the other customers, the three of them followed the girl into an alcove. The startled servant started to say something - probably to inform them they had taken a wrong turn on the way to relieve themselves - but before she could get a sound out, Alex had his hand over her mouth while Yuri grabbed her firmly around the shoulders. Together the three men hauled her out through the back door, holding her tightly in spite of her struggling. Once they were safely outside and out of earshot of the noisy tavern, Dennis held a chemical-soaked rag to the girl's face until she went limp in his brothers' arms.

    Once the servant was unconscious, the three men wasted no time. Yuri and Alex dropped her to the ground, then quickly rolled her so she was face-down. Dennis roughly pulled her hair out of the way, then tried to unfasten the neck of her tunic. Hurried and nervous as he was, he couldn't manage the small buttons, so in frustration he simply ripped the cloth, exposing a few inches of her upper back.

    "Are you sure this will work?" Alex asked doubtfully. "It just looks like a piece of rock."

    "It'll work," Dennis assured him. "The trader I bought it from showed me how it worked, and it sure as hell cost enough. No one will ever recognize her."

    Yuri grunted acknowledgement, then cut a slit about three inches long in the skin at the base of the girl's neck. Blood welled up. The girl's body twitched, and Alex applied the rag to her mouth again till she went still again. Dennis pushed a small, flat sliver of red-orange rock into the wound, then sewed the opening closed with careful, precise stitches.

    As the wound closed, the girl's appearance began to change. Her facial features seemed to shimmer and then shift. Her hair became lighter and slightly shorter. The rest of her body remained the same; the small sliver of a broken talisman wasn't enough to affect a larger area than her head, but it wouldn't matter. Dennis had selected this servant in particular because her build was similar enough to pass for the girl she would be disguised as.

    They now had a very good replica of Alex's daughter, Sanjela McBride.

    "What if she just tells Phobos she isn't the right girl?" Yuri said. "What's to stop her? He might not believe her, but it would be enough to make him suspicious."

    Dennis shook his head. "She can't," he said. "Extra enchantments on the stone. She won't be able to speak, or remove it, or indicate to anyone that it's there. She won't even know it herself."

    "She really can't speak?"

    "Not a word," Dennis promised. "No one will ever know. Someone would probably figure it out eventually, but she isn't going to last very long. The way Phobos entertains himself becomes lethal very quickly. She'll be another dead body, the real Sanjela will be safe, and no one will be any the wiser. You brought the clothes?"

    Alex nodded and produced a bundle of Sanjela's garments.

    "Good," Dennis said. "Me and Yuri will get her dressed up. You go home and take your daughter to some safe planet, and hole up there until Phobos kills Nicolai and loses interest in the rest of us."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 09-11-2016 at 12:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Eris and "Sanjela"



    The room was chilly, but Eris couldn't tell if the girl was shivering because of the temperature or from fear. Probably a combination of both. The goddess smiled kindly.

    "Welcome to Arena," Eris said warmly. "You must be Sanjela."

    The girl shook her head frantically, and Eris' smile became wider and more understanding.

    "I know," Eris told her sympathetically. "You fear us. Don't worry; I'm not angry at you for that. It's hardly surprising. You're young. The young always fear torture and death. They still believe that good people deserve good things. That pain is an evil to be avoided. I wouldn't expect you to recognize the transcendent value of suffering, or realize how lucky you are to be part of something greater than your own tiny life. Oh, you poor thing, you're crying."

    Eris gently wiped the tears from the girl's eyes, ignoring the flinch when she touched her.

    "Don't cry. You have such a pretty face. Don't spoil it with tears."

    She gave the trembling girl a gentle hug, then kissed her forehead.

    "There there. Don't worry. You'll be alright. I know you can be brave."

    The girl twisted her hands together and nodded. Eris smiled again, looking approving.

    "Good girl. See? There's nothing to fear. I knew you would make me proud."

    Eris tenderly brushed the girl's hair away from her face and stroked her golden curls.

    "That's not to say you won't suffer. You will. You'll endure the greatest pain of your life here. There will be times when you will think the agony is more than you can bear... but bear it you will, until Lord Phobos decides it is time for you to sacrifice your life to the gods, as your final and greatest gift."

    Eris continued to play with the girl's hair, and as she did so, she deftly closed a leather and metal collar around the girl's neck and locked it in place. With her motherly smile never wavering, she caressed the girl's cheek, then playfully tapped the tip of her nose.

    "You lucky little thing! To die for the gods is one of the greatest honors a mortal can be given. Here, put this on. It's what our human servants wear here."

    Eris handed the girl a folded garment, a thin white robe. The shoulder bore the same crest that was displayed on the guards' uniforms - but unlike the guards, the humans brought to Arena never lasted very long. Phobos liked them to wear white; it showed the bloodstains so well.

    "Get dressed and wash your face," Eris instructed, as if coaching a child into dressing for school. "Then I'll show you your new home."

    As she stepped away to give the girl room to put her new clothes on, Eris frowned slightly to herself. Something about the girl unsettled her. The aura was strangely cloudy, as if Eris were viewing the girl's secrets through rippling water instead of with her usual clarity. There was no way this simple human had the power to protect her thoughts from a goddess... but something was amiss, and Eris was going to keep her eye on her.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 08-09-2016 at 08:20 PM.

  6. #6
    Hades



    Using their talisman, Hades and Hera beat Zeus and the others to Arena. Hades had been using a sparrow to spy on the others gods in the gardens of the Saber Vortex's palace. There they learned that Zeus wanted to find Hebe and Athena and that they wanted to find a talisman lost on this world to grant that wish. And that Gossamer, the bride of Phobos, was going to marry her guard, Nicolai, instead. Both Ancient Gods knew that it wouldn't be easy for Zeus to find his missing daughters. Although he had the bracelet and Hebe was with him right now. He'd need their talisman to free her and they weren't planning to give that up. Or for him to know that Athena was trapped in Hera's necklace.

    Plus, on Arena, they'd have better chance to ending Zeus' life once and for all. It was his fault, after all, that Olympus had fallen. Once he had been exiled, it all went to hell and Hades and Hera blamed Zeus for it. Since Ares, Enyo, and Eris had founded this world, Hades was sure they'd more likely side with him and their mother in this little battle. Especially when they found out what their missing citizens had been up to. Optimus Prime and Sojourn meant little to the gods. Just collateral damage. Although, since Zeus cared about the male Secundae, they would not object to killing him, just to hurt Zeus more.

    Hades looked to his sister-in-law.

    "Shall we see your children and grandsons? I'm sure the one boy will be very upset to hear what his intended as done."

    He remembered Phobos well, he would not like that Gossamer not only conceived a child with her guard but also secretly married him.


  7. #7
    Hera



    It had angered Hera that she and Hades had spent about a week laying low back on the Saber Vortex. They had found Zeus and she wanted him dead. After everything he had put her through over the centuries, death was something he deserved. However, it would have been stupid to attack him when he was nice and safe in that palace and with others. He wouldn't have such safety in Arena. Zeus had had many children but he wasn't always a good father to all of them. His relationships with Ares and his two favorite sisters, weren't as good as the relationships had been with Hebe and Athena. The kids and the twins wouldn't help Zeus at all. Which was perfect for Hera. She nodded her head to Hades.


    "Yes, it's time for a long over due family reunion."

    Hera was sure her grandson, Phobos, would very angry when she and Hades told him what Gossamer had done and how his grandfather had helped her get away with it all. Hera was sure there were guards all over Arena and waited for them to be approached. They didn't have to wait too long. She spoke arrogantly to them.


    "I am Hera of Olympus. Mother of Ares, Enyo, and Eris. Grandmother of Phobos and Deimos. And this Hades, my brother-in-law, and uncle to your lords and ladies. I order you to take us to my family."

  8. #8
    Phobos and Deimos



    The guards were so accustomed to obeying orders from their gods that, upon recognizing the mother and uncle of Ares, Enyo, and Eris, they showed no hesitation in following the instructions they were given.

    "Welcome to Arena, my lady and my lord," the more senior guard said, and all of the guards bowed. "Please allow us to show you to the throne room. Lord Phobos and Lord Deimos are currently in attendance. Lord Ares, Lady Enyo, and Lady Eris have been away but are expected back at any moment."

    Phobos and Deimos were seated on their metal thrones. They stood when the other gods were escorted in.

    "Grandmother! Great-Uncle!" Phobos said, smiling warmly. "What a pleasant surprise! Welcome to our home!"

    Deimos merely nodded, but his expression had become less sour; coming from him, this was sufficient to indicate that he was pleased to see them too.

    "Guards! Bring some chairs for our guests!" Phobos called with an imperious gesture, but then he roughly cuffed one who tried to bring over one of the wooden benches their human audiences sat on. "No, you fool. Bring the good chairs with the velvet cushions. Our grandmother and great-uncle must not be treated as if they were mere common folk."

    When chairs he considered suitable had been brought, Phobos returned to his own seat... then belatedly seemed to notice the girl in a white dress who cowered by the foot of the throne. He prodded her harshly with his boot. "Get up," he said. "Bring wine to serve our guests."

    The girl moved awkwardly, seemingly in pain, but Phobos ignored her as she laboriously fetched a ewer of wine and four goblets.

    "Well, Grandmother and Great-Uncle," Phobos said with a smile. "To what do we owe the pleasure of this visit?"

  9. #9
    Hades



    At least the servants of Arena did not make them wait long. Hades followed the servant and greeted his great nephews with a smile.


    "It is good to see you both again."

    He told them, shaking their hands. He scoffed when a guard tried to bring them a wooden bench to sit on. What a fool to offer that to Ancient Gods.

    "Good help is so hard to find."

    He commented, thinking the idiot would have joined his Underworld kingdom if he was still on Olympus. Hades took a seat in a proper chair and accepted the wine that the servant girl served.

    "Don't you dare spill it on me."

    He told her, not caring that she was in pain. To Phobos, he said.

    "We heard from a little bird you are to be married."

    Hades then looked to Hera, since the 'little bird' had also told them that Gossamer had married one of their guards instead and Zeus had helped them. He thought she'd like to tell her grandson herself, though.

  10. #10
    Hera



    Hera was pleased she and Hades did not have to wait long. She grinned seeing her grandsons.

    "Phobos! Deimos! It's been far too long."

    She greeted both gods with a grandmotherly hug and a kiss on the cheek. She knew the sour expression on Deimos' face was his normal expression in life. She scoffed when a guard tried to have her and Hades sit on wooden seats. She nodded her head to Hades.

    "That it is."

    She was tempted to throw an energy ball at the guard but decided that guard was not worth it. She rolled her eyes at the slowly moving servant girl. She didn't care if she was in pain. Servants were beneath the gods. She took a sip of wine and slightly nodded her head to Hades. She waited to see what Phobos would say about his betrothed before she revealed they knew what his woman had been up to.

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